Obama to Wall Street Donors: "I Won't Demonize You"
Many people seem to be paying attention to President Barack Obama's relationship with New York, specifically within the banking sector. Obama has had critics over his inability to prosecute corrupt, criminal bankers and financial fraud, in comparison to presidents of yore.
The pressure lies on Obama this campaign season as a large amount of Americans are calling for heads to roll on Wall Street with Occupy protests while voters are focusing on which candidate will bring the “crooks” to justice. (Speaking of scorning Wall Street, take a look at our friends' hilarious "What Wall Street Says" video over at Green Chip Stocks.)
On March 1, Obama will make his first campaign fundraiser with investment bankers and hedge fund managers since asking Congress, in his recent 2013 budget, to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
The $35,800-per-person dinner at ABC Kitchen is the being hosted by many of Obama's top Wall Street donors and is just the first of FOUR fundraising events of the evening. The hosts of this event are Ralph Schlosstein, chief executive officer at Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR), and his wife, Jane Hartley, co-founder of the economic and political advisory firm Observatory Group LLC.
But for sake of concern, the hosts were reassured by Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina, that the president will not demonize Wall Street in his re-election campaign.
Clearly, at a dinner function worth more than the average American's annual salary, the guests attending could have targets on their back with who Obama plans to tax harder in 2013. At the same time, those of the lucky guests able to attend will be looking to see how the president's balancing act pays off, as he tries to woo an audience who he has placed an asserted target on earlier in the month.
Sponsors on the guest list are as follows:
Blair W. Effron, partner and co-founder of Centerview Partners LLP
Marc Lasry, managing partner and founder of Avenue Capital Group
Mark Gallogly, a managing principal of Centerbridge Partners
James Rubin, managing director of BC Partners
Robert Wolf, UBS AG's chairman for the Americas
Antonio Weiss, global head of investment banking at Lazard Ltd.
Other fundraisers Obama is holding are focused more outside of the Wall Street circles, but still, among the very wealthy.
He will need to limit how much he eats during his $35k dinner as he will be attending a reception the same night that is co-hosted by author Deepak Chopra, music executive Russell Simmons and others.
The president's last fundraiser with the financial services industry was last September and at this point in his election cycle, he has not been able to touch the success he had four years ago in getting money from Wall Street. And it looks as though it will continue to be a difficult task for the president who's fighting for re-election over nearly as much criticism as his Wall Street cronies have been receiving. Back in 2008 election, Obama raised $16 million from employees in the securities and investment industry and their families. He is well short of those numbers this time around.
During these high-brow events, trust that Obama's fiscal budget for 2013 will be on the minds of all the attendees. In the budget Obama called for $1.4 trillion in new revenue over 10 years from Americans in the top percentage of the income scale. Also included were higher taxes on wages and investments while limiting itemized deductions.
He would tax long-term capital gains at 20 percent, up from the current 15 percent, for individuals making more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000.
This election cycle has been derailed by rallying GOP candidates, a tumbling economy, and lack of delivered promises for certain American classes. And the fundraising numbers have reflected it...
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (one of 17 banks and security firms that may be cut by Moody's Investors Services this month) have been one of the few loyal donors to the Obama campaign. JPMorgan's employees gave $23,494 to Obama in the last three months, making them the only financial institution among Obama's top 10 list of donors for the fourth quarter.
It looks as though the president is going to scrounging for dough come November as his pocket fillers seem to be closing up their wallets for his re-election. Could it be due to his past four years? Or his plan for his next fiscal year?+5
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